Certain areas of decay are too large to be repaired with a filling, but also too small for a crown to be used for the restoration. For patients with this type of decay, Dr. Hockel recommends an inlay or onlay as the best treatment option.
A pre-treatment consultation with our team members will help you determine whether an inlay or onlay is best for you.
The Difference Between Inlays Onlays
A dental inlay is used to repair surfaces of a tooth that are in between the cusps of the tooth (the tiny bumps on the top of your teeth). An onlay is used for more significant damage, which typically involves covering one or more cusps of a tooth as well as parts of the chewing surface.
Inlays and onlays also can replace larger fillings that may be failing or causing problems.
Why choose an inlay or onlay rather than a crown?
Both inlays and onlays preserve more of the natural tooth than a crown, which replaces the entire exterior structure of a tooth.
What should I expect from an inlay or onlay procedure?
The type of material that we use to repair your tooth will determine the length of treatment. Composite resin, porcelain, or gold inlays or onlays are similar to crowns in requiring two visits to complete the procedure, and they also involve working with our trusted dental lab to handcraft your restoration.
To learn more about the dental inlays and onlays we provide for our patients in Walnut Creek, California, and to schedule your initial consultation with our dentists at Life Dental & Orthodontics, please call our office at 925-478-7776.